Nationwide is one of the largest insurance companies in the United States. It provides a variety of different types of insurance, including car insurance. While the Nationwide name is well known, you may not be aware that there are a variety of different Nationwide affiliated companies, including ALLIED, AMCO, and Scottsdale. If you are facing a car accident claim involving Nationwide as either your insurance company or the other driver’s, you may be wondering whether Nationwide will truly be “on your side.” In our experience, Nationwide is one of the better insurance companies in handling car accident claims and offering fair value for both personal injury and property damage claims. However, that does not mean that you should let your guard down in dealing with Nationwide’s adjusters. As with any insurance company, Nationwide’s goal will be to close your file as cheaply as possible.
Opening a Claim with Nationwide
If the at-fault driver in your car accident has insurance with Nationwide, you will want to contact Nationwide to open a claim. Nationwide’s website has a page that explains how to open a claim with them. The website has a link for you to open a claim online, or you can call the toll free claims number at 1-800-421-3535. When I did a test of the online claims process, it would not allow me to open a personal injury a claim online. Instead, it directed me to the claims number and instructed me to call to set up the claim. This is just one reason why you need a personal injury attorney on your side. Insurance adjusters are trained and experienced in getting injured people to say things that can hurt their case and ultimately minimize the amount of money Nationwide has to pay out for your claim.
Nationwide’s Investigation of Your Claim
After your claim has been opened, a Nationwide adjuster will be assigned to investigate your claim. The Nationwide adjuster will attempt to gather the facts about your accident, and explain any insurance coverages that are available. If an adjuster contacts you or if you end up speaking to one while opening the claim, do not give a recorded statement, especially if you have not consulted with an attorney yet. Hopefully you will have already consulted with and retained a personal injury attorney by the time an adjuster contacts you, but if you have not, be careful in what you say. It can come back to hurt you later.
There is one exception to the general advice not to give a recorded statement. If you are insured with Nationwide and you are opening a claim under your insurance policy, you may need to comply with any requests for information and statements because your Nationwide policy may require that you cooperate with the insurer in its investigation of the case.
Property Damage Claims with Nationwide
The first order of business for Nationwide will be to handle your property damage claim. This is one of the most urgent aspects of a car accident claim because people need their cars to get around. This is especially true in metro Atlanta as many people use their cars to commute to and from work. Nationwide may have one adjuster for your property damage claim and one for your bodily injury claim, or one adjuster may handle both claims.
If Nationwide is the insurer for the other driver and liability is clear, it may arrange for a rental car for you to drive while your other vehicle is repaired or replaced. If you are the one insured with Nationwide, then you may or may not be entitled to a rental car depending on the coverage you purchased with the insurance company.
Assuming your vehicle is not totaled after the adjuster or a body shop inspects your car, your car will be repaired. Nationwide should be responsible for paying for all of the property damage if it insured the at-fault driver and he or she was 100% at fault. If you have Nationwide and are using your own insurance to handle property damage, you may have to pay a deductible, depending on your policy.
It is important to remember that you may be entitled to diminished value for your vehicle if it is repairable. A diminished value claim is based on the fact that your car is worth less because it was involved in an accident. The amount of a diminished value claim depends on a number of factors, including the make and model of the car, its condition, the car’s mileage, and the amount of damage.
Bodily Injury Claims with Nationwide
If you were injured, you should absolutely hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can look out for your interests and make sure your rights are protected. Our firm takes cases on a contingency fee, which means we get paid a percentage of what we get for you. If we do not get you anything for your personal injury then you do not owe us anything. There is no risk for you, and the benefits of having a personal injury attorney on your side are numerous.
Whether you hire an attorney or not, you will not want Nationwide to settle your personal injury claim until after you are done with medical treatment. This is important because once you settle your case you cannot go back for more. You will want to make sure you have fully recovered from your injuries and that the full amount of your damages is known so that you can get full value for your case.
In any personal injury case you are entitled to two broad categories of damages: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages include things like lost wages and medical expenses. Noneconomic damages include items that are not capable of a precise economic measure, such as pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, and diminished capacity to labor. While Nationwide may be in agreement with you on the value of your economic damages, do not be surprised if it disagrees with your opinion on the value of your noneconomic damages. Insurance companies, even Nationwide, are notorious for low-balling injured people on their pain and suffering damages. This is particularly true in cases involving soft tissue injuries to the neck and back.
If your personal injury claim with Nationwide is settled it will require that you sign a release that releases Nationwide and its policyholder from any and all further liability. Releases can be tricky, and the language in the release could come back to hurt you if you are not fully aware of your rights. This is yet another reason to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you.
What if you are injured and you have insurance with Nationwide? Are you entitled to any benefits under your own car insurance policy? The answer to this question depends on the type of coverage you purchased. You may have a few different types of coverage that you can use. One type would be medical payments coverage, which can be used to help pay your medical bills resulting from the accident. Another type may be uninsured motorist coverage, which would come into play if the at-fault driver either had no insurance or not enough insurance. If you have questions about your Nationwide insurance policy, you can give us a call for a free consultation.
After any car accident it is important that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience to handle your claim and make sure you receive full compensation. We have taken on all the big insurance companies, including Nationwide, and we will fight for you. Contact Brogdon Champion, LLC today for a free consultation about your car accident claim.